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Glossary of Business Related Terms

Here are some of the most common terms and acronyms used in business. Our glossary contains the most common phrases and jargon used together with the definition of what it actually means.

These are our own definitions and meanings used to clarify these terms. Some acronyms have different meanings outside of the world of business.

Marketing Glossary

Above The Line

Advertising campaigns that are undertaken using mass media such as TV, radio, and online channels.

Below The Line

Marketing campaigns that are more tactical in nature such as direct mail, email, and sponsorship opportunities.


Your brand covers your name, visual design, staff interactions with customers, communication materials, and how you act. The combination of all of these is used to identify your products and uniquely differentiate you from your competitors.

Our marketing guide covers branding in more depth including easy to implement communications and promotional ideas.

Cash Cow

The term used in the Boston Consulting Group Matrix for a product or service that has a high market share in a mature market. It’s the most profitable in the company’s portfolio and is nurtured to provide the maximum returns possible.

Direct Marketing

The process of communicating offers directly to the end consumer via postal services, telephone or direct to their door.

Electronic Commerce

Also termed as e-commerce, is the provision of products sold on the internet.

Gantt Chart

A pictorial view of a project plan that also shows the critical path.


Marketing is the process of identifying and satisfying customer needs at a profit. Read more about this subject with a concise marketing definition.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is a written document containing an organisation’s core marketing strategies, tactics and action programmes for a planning period.

Financial Terms


The total value of what a company or person owns as a gross value (i.e.: excluding any loans).

Balance Sheet

A statement at a certain period detailing a company’s assets and liabilities.


The process of writing up a company’s accounts. Daily transactions get recorded into formal books, Excel spreadsheets or accounting software.

Break-Even Analysis

Break-even analysis is a technique used to calculate when revenues exactly match the costs incurred from generating the revenue. The results show the volume required to cover all fixed costs and associated variable costs from each revenue product.


A financial projection of income and expenditure for a period in the future.

Cash Flow

A financial projection of the company’s income and expenditure based upon when monies transact through the bank account. This forecast is different from a Profit and Loss Account, which records the date products become sold or costs incurred.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is the summary of a company’s opportunities for growth. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


The total value of what a company or person owes at a point in time.


  • ATL – Above the Line.
  • BTL – Below the Line.
  • B2B – Business to Business.
  • B2C – Business to Consumer.
  • BoE – Bank of England.
  • CEO – Chief Executive Officer.
  • CFO – Chief Financial Officer.
  • CRM – Client Relationship Management.
  • EBITDA – Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortisation.
  • ERM – Exchange Rate Mechanism.
  • FCA – Financial Conduct Authority.
  • FSA – Financial Services Authority.
  • FTE – Full Time Equivalent.
  • FTSE – Financial Times Stock Exchange.
  • GDP – Gross Domestic Product.
  • GP – Gross Profit.
  • JIT – Just in Time.
  • MBO – Management Buy Out.
  • NIC – National Insurance Contributions.
  • OFT – Office of Fair Trading.
  • P&L – Profit and Loss.
  • PAYE – Pay As You Earn.
  • RFI – Request For Information.
  • SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
  • VAT – Value Added Tax.